Part of my job as a riding coach and trainer is to take the young riders under my care to local show jumping competitions once in a while. My normal routine, before we set off to a show, is to have conversations about putting the needs of our horses first, and how doing our best is what counts, etc. etc. And that is all very well…. but usually, once we arrive at the competitions, it becomes apparent right away that ‘putting the horses’ needs first’ doesn’t always happen.
So, the question that comes up in my heart is: Do I keep taking these children to competitions and try to spread awareness that there is a softer, kinder way with horses?
Am I condoning the suffering of the other horses by attending the shows and not saying anything?(Or perhaps this blog could be my way of saying something?)